Pieces of several dining room tables are all over Scott Rohlfing's garage. Each time Scott received the table he ordered from Wayfair, the pieces, which have to be assembled, arrived damaged.
"So this is table No. 5, you can see this corner is smashed up as well," Scott said.
Each time, he asked the company to send him a new one. And Wayfair did, but the result wasn't much better. Every time, the table arrived damaged.
"But my initial reaction was, you know, things happen during shipping; but when it got to the third one and the fourth one, the fifth became ridiculous, the sixth one I didn't even know they were shipping, that one just showed up," Scott said.
The silver lining in all this was that Wayfair handled all his complaints courteously and promptly. And they didn't add shipping charges or fees for the returns.
"Wayfair's customer service was fabulous," Scott said. "They were very accommodating, they returned my calls, they returned my emails. They were very apologetic. They sent out replacement parts and tables as though they were placing something in an envelope for 32 cents, not sending a 140 pound box six times in a row."
Wayfair considers itself the Amazon of furniture. It says it ships 93,000 furniture orders a week. It came up with a name for Scott's troubles --"the troublemaker table that wouldn't arrive in one piece."
Wayfair said it worked with the manufacturer to "inspect the package before it left and have it double wrapped." Wayfair issued a statement saying, "At the end of the day, we sent him a refund and we took the table off line. We pulled the table off the website and we issued a full refund."
But that's not where the story ends. Scott was able to find the exact same table at Ramos Furniture in San Jose and ordered it. Table No. 7 arrived damaged, but table No. 8 hit the jackpot.
"This is it after eight tables; couldn't be happier, wish we would have gone locally beforehand, but yeah, we finally got a table that was pristine until the six year olds get their hands on it," Scott said.
The lesson in all this is to make sure the company you're dealing with has a good refund policy, will reship for free and be responsive to your needs.